Out of curiosity, could someone explain to me the need for metal free darts? I feel like I missed a discussion a while back, because all of a sudden there are "metal free dart" posts, and honestly I thought darts with metal were just fine, haha.
In all honesty, the push for metal-free darts is largely based off of the pink foam giveaway for metal-free dart designs. While the people captaining that movement have their own arguments in support of their stance, for the average Nerfer, there's really no need to worry.
To whit, metal free slugs have the perception of being "safer" because, well, there's no metal, no matter how well-encapsulated and "safe" that metal is. Additionally, a lost metal-free dart doesn't turn, over the course of months or years, into a corroded metal washer that some idiot could step on (barefoot at a public park qualifies you as an idiot, mind you) and get tetanus and die from it.
There has also been mention of metal-free darts allowing slugs to be used in an office setting, in which case I have to say: REALLY? If your office "allows" NIC-style blasters to be used at all, you are in the vast minority of Nerfers in general.
The problem is, in my mind, slugs are pretty suboptimal to begin with, and most of the metal-free designs have been attempts to replicate them with worse materials. If the NIC really wants to pursue metal-free darts for whatever reason, I think we're going to have to go back to things that aren't quite so unaerodynamic.
The whole "metal free" goal is a strawman to actually safer darts. There's nothing special about iron or steel that's unsafe, the point is to avoid hard materials--which I take to include plastic, hot glue, and hard rubber. Sure those items aren't nearly as hard as iron, but they're plenty harder than the flesh that they're hitting.
Being metal free is not required in my contest, nor is it sufficient to qualify. Being hard-material free is required by my contest. A mixture containing metal dispersed as powder into a soft material or bound into a chemical compound that happens to be a soft would pass the hardness requirement. In both cases, there would be some benefit in density, and in the first case it might preserve magnet-on-stick functionality.
Slugs are suboptimal, but they are currently the only nerf dart design that works perfectly in a conventional wye hopper. So it's not a surprise that most of the designs attempt to recreate that, and most of them partially succeed. Also, the notion that darts should be aerodynamic is surprisingly controversial.
Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 14 September 2012 - 07:55 PM.